Things We’ve Learned Now that We’re

We’re turn­ing 40, but We’re not the only ones. We asked two of our Friends, Car­men and Sa­muel lee, about the lessons they’ve learned now that they’re 40, an age that res­onates With con­fi­dence, a cer­tain Worldly cool­ness and a good store of Wis­dom. they sh

Hong Kong Tatler - - September - Pho­tog­ra­phy gareth brown shot on lo­ca­tion at the land­mark man­darin ori­en­tal

40 We’re not the only ones turn­ing 40, an age that res­onates with con­fi­dence, a cer­tain worldly cool­ness and a good store of wis­dom. We asked our friends Car­men and Sa­muel Lee, who share our birth year, about the lessons they’ve learned on the road to the Big Four-o. They re­veal 40 of the best

Hon­esty and in­tegrity are the most im­por­tant virtues. Al­ways strive to be true to your­self and those around you.

Don’t worry too much. It doesn’t do any good. Just fo­cus on the present but be pre­pared for a rainy day.

It doesn’t hurt to be friendly and cour­te­ous. A smile and a sim­ple “thank you” can make a dif­fer­ence in some­one else’s day.

Gen­uine friends don’t judge. They let you be who you are. They un­der­stand you have good and bad days and that some­times you need space.

Fewer com­puter games, more board games. We re­cently in­tro­duced some of our favourite child­hood toys and games to our 10-yearold and he ac­tu­ally told us he could not be­lieve what a cool child­hood we must have had.

The snooze but­ton is point­less. It only wakes up your spouse but not your­self. If you want to wake up later, why not just set the alarm to that time rather than have it re­peat­edly go­ing off and dis­turb­ing that ex­tra sleep you wanted?

Don’t be shy. Hit the dance floor. Mu­sic brings ev­ery­one to­gether and danc­ing is a good work­out. Also, no one cares whether you dance well or not. And it’s way more fun than sit­ting around guard­ing the hand­bags.

Al­ways lead by ex­am­ple. Ac­tions speak louder than words. It might sound clichéd but it’s true—you are more likely to gain re­spect by prac­tis­ing what you preach.

Idle­ness is a lux­ury. Liv­ing in a vi­brant city like Hong Kong of­ten means we work hard and play hard. Hav­ing the time to do noth­ing is bliss.

Let your hair down once in a while. Just Lose your­self in the mo­ment and have a blast

Cock­roaches are freaky. We don’t know why, but even at 40 they still freak us out.

Work hard and work smart. Be­ing re­source­ful and ef­fi­cient, and hav­ing good re­la­tion­ships with those you work with, are what it takes to bring you to the next level.

Chal­lenge your­self and learn new things. It’s very tempt­ing to stay in your com­fort zone, but the more you put off hon­ing new skills, the less likely you will be to pick them up later. Ba­si­cally, don’t fall be­hind.

Just be your­self. There is no point try­ing to be some­one you are not. It is hard work keep­ing up ap­pear­ances and peo­ple will see through the fa­cade even­tu­ally.

Google Maps is a god­send, es­pe­cially if you are lack­ing any sense of di­rec­tion. No more get­ting lost or spend­ing hours plan­ning a route. What a bless­ing.

The most im­por­tant fix­ture in the house is the Toto in the bath­room. It’s lux­ury for a very im­por­tant part of your body and in one of the most ba­sic acts of life. Why not?

It’s to­tally okay to have re­grets. Just don’t get too dragged down by them. They are lessons learned, af­ter all, and you’ll never know where that other path may have led.

The most el­e­gant ladies are the ones who choose to age grace­fully. It’s in their at­ti­tude and in their con­fi­dence, and the way they carry them­selves.

Real friend­ships should be sim­ple, with­out pride or envy.

The best way to keep white shirts white is to use bak­ing soda, not bleach. Soak them overnight in bak­ing soda be­fore putting them into the wash­ing ma­chine, and you’ll have the crispest, fresh­est shirts there are.

Hap­pi­ness is about ex­pec­ta­tions and grat­i­tude. We are re­spon­si­ble for our own hap­pi­ness. No one and noth­ing else can keep us happy if we don’t have the right mind­set.

Al­ways wash your hands well af­ter chopping chill­ies and don’t touch your face for at least a few hours, un­less you en­joy a burn­ing, tin­gling sen­sa­tion on your skin.

Al­ways keep an open mind. You never know what’s around the cor­ner.

All re­la­tion­ships take two to tango. Don’t just take the blame out on the other per­son. we All have to put in our part of sup­port, tol­er­ance, un­der­stand­ing AND com­mu­ni­ca­tion Break­fast is over­rated (Car­men). Break­fast is un­der­rated (sam)

Teach your chil­dren man­ners and groom their per­son­al­ity. It’s a lot more im­por­tant than any school marks.

Hug and kiss the ones you love ev­ery day.

Mak­ing a fuss in pub­lic just makes you a clown. Be­ing civilised when mak­ing com­plaints is way more likely to achieve a con­struc­tive out­come.

Cham­pagne can mess you up, es­pe­cially if you end the night on it. It guar­an­tees a bad hang­over and a lot of de­hy­dra­tion. Go for whisky in­stead.

Work out reg­u­larly if you want long-term re­sults.

Ditto skin­care.

Keep your head up and look for­ward in life in­stead of down at your phone. Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the real world is way more mean­ing­ful and stim­u­lat­ing.

Earplugs are mar­riage savers.

Chil­dren are amaz­ing but they come with an in­sane amount of re­spon­si­bil­ity. Hav­ing them is easy, teach­ing and guid­ing them is su­per chal­leng­ing, so be pre­pared!

Hu­mid­ity is good for your hair, even though you might not nec­es­sar­ily like it. We re­cently spent two weeks in Europe and Cal­i­for­nia and re­ally felt the dif­fer­ence.

No, you don’t al­ways have to lis­ten to your par­ents— and we’re say­ing this as both off­spring and par­ents. The older gen­er­a­tion will al­ways be more ex­pe­ri­enced, but their ways may not be the most ap­pro­pri­ate for our to­day. And that’s okay.

Be well-trav­elled. Try dif­fer­ent foods. Ap­pre­ci­ate dif­fer­ent cul­tures. It will keep you grounded, hum­ble and knowl­edge­able.

Learn as many Lan­guages as You Can. You WILL re­alise the im­por­tance of this When You are Com­pletely re­liant on Your POLYGLOT spouse on a trip to france or Ja­pan life is too short to Drink BAD wine. it Doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily have to cost An Arm AND A leg. it just has to be good at 40, We Still Have much TO learn

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